In my opinion the current defaults seem like they are roughly what they should be. Level 3 should be somewhat of a high bar considering the privileges it grants, and the status it indicates (being a “regular” does indicate regular somewhat consistent engagement (and having these members is beneficial to the community).
If I understand correctly, that just means that in practice you’ll need to receive 20 likes, over a period of 100 days, and those likes must come from a minimum of 4 different users.
Or framed differently that means you’ll need to reveive an average of 1.4 likes per week, and give 2.1 likes per week over a 100 day period.
To me that doesn’t’ seem unattainable or excessive for the highest level of privilege.
I just don’t want using the forum to feel like a chore. Quantifying what active means seems a bit like the wrong way to go. Now, I may visit the forum more, but I will be doing it because I have to, not because I want to.
I think maybe you are getting overly hung up on the levels/ gamification and seeing it in the wrong way. Levels 0-2 are more like rights when you qualify, you are granted certain rights, and those are permanent/not dependent on continued engagement. But level 3 is conceptually different, it is a set of non-permanent privileges (that carry more weight/responsibility), granted to a small portion of the more engaged members in good standing. Its not something everyone will attain and not something most people should really care about attaining. Not attaining (or attaining and then losing) level 3 doesn’t indicate that you aren’t an active / constructive / important part of the community, and you won’t lose level 2. I think you shouldn’t feel any need to achieve this level, or feel like your worth to the community is any less if you don’t attain this level.
edit: also, I just want to make clear ^ this is all my personal opinion, and not something I’ve thought through deeply, and not something I’m super invested in, so take it all with a grain of salt.
edit 2: also, as a point of illustration, after 33 minutes, this comment and its 2 likes has already exceeded the likes needed for the entire week to maintain level 3.